Category Archives: Recommended Authors

Happy Father’s Day 2018

Card with baby footprints and text reading Dad, Well Done I'm Awesome!

Made by one of the lovely ladies of the NICU

Last Sunday was Father’s Day; and there was a surprise waiting for us at Jaenelle’s crib – a Father’s Day card! ‘From Jaenelle’, as it were. Of course, since she is still little, she got some help in making it. Rhys, of course, loves it to bits.

Vincent usually uses a bit of his saved up money (or an unused gift card) to get his Dad a bottle of his favourite liquor with my help – ergo, the boyo gives me the money to pay for the pressie after he picks out what he thinks is the best option. But since I’m still in hospital fighting off infection (which is why I haven’t been ‘around’ per se), I couldn’t help him this time around. I gave a couple of suggestions (albeit a bit late) of options that Eldest Son can get from the grocery. It’s a wee bit of help, but at least he didn’t forget it at all.

Jaenelle is growing well; she’s in positive birth weight now and has been moved to the special care ward and has been getting a mix of bottle feeds and tube feeds. She’s still a bit too little though to really breastfeed, though she gives it a good try, she gets tired too easily and does what they call tongue thrust – ergo the baby’s tongue gets in the way and pushes out something that is put in the mouth, a normally good survival instinct, but gets in her way in this case. I might be able to help her a bit more but for the cannula in my arm preventing me from bending the limb properly.

On other good news – Congratulations to the winners and nominees of the Dragon Awards!

 

Books Old and New

So, my son literally (hahahahaha see what I did there?) devoured every single Matthew Reilly book I have, except for The Tournament. He barely had put down The Four Legendary Kingdoms and was already looking for more. (He was VERY upset with what happened in Scarecrow.)

So I gave him what I had of Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series, scraped together the money for  Games Wizards Play and it arrived just as he got through The Wizard’s Dilemma. I read GWP first of course, but hesitated on giving it to my son initially because of the sexuality/relationships subthemes. Son has a puppy-love girlfriend, but he isn’t mature enough yet for the more complicated hormones-sexuality-etc soup; and since I’d told him to come to me and ask if he had any questions, the introduction of a couple of young openly gay characters wasn’t something I was sure I’d explain just yet. So I went to have a chat with my son about the book.

Turns out though, he already knew that ‘gay’ = people who date/fall in love with the same sex, so while he doesn’t know/care about the nuts and bolts of it, he knows about that. (How, he’s not really sure. Kids pick up stuff.) Since Games never goes into more detail than ‘he’s/I’m gay/have a boyfriend’, I changed my mind on that score. Since we were talking about it already, I explained, very simply, what asexuality was, since that crops up too. (Son knows basic biological scientific sex; e.g. what makes a baby.)

I know there are some folks out there who will scream ‘censorship’ but, quite honestly, sod off. My son might be more emotionally mature than most kids his age (the death of two siblings will do that to a child who’s old enough), or perhaps a bit smarter (reading will do that) but I am pacing what he reads based on what I observe he’s ready to handle, or understand properly, or understands so he can properly enjoy or react to the work.This is a kid whose level of relationship is that ‘you’re boyfriend and girlfriend if you like each other and kiss and hold hands.’

In much the same way I wouldn’t hand him any of Anne Bishop’s books, and I love her writing, and am waiting until he’s a bit more mature before I give him any of Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter series, and going by current development, the boyo might not read the Monster Hunter Memoirs books until he’s 14 or 15.

Toward that end I’m trying to get my hands on hardcover David Eddings books; and trying to find the first trilogy of Dragonlance.

It’s rather interesting that most of my book purchases of late haven’t been new release books, but trying to hunt down older ones. I prefer hardcovers now because they’re more durable and stand up to re-re-re-re-reading. I got lucky and found a Domes of Fire volume that has Larry Elmore’s art on it.

This is the reason why ultimately, my Dragon Awards nominations are rather sparse.

Best Science Fiction Novel : Star Realms: Rescue Run by Jon Del Arroz

Best Fantasy: Monster Hunter Memoirs: Sinners by John Ringo & Larry Correia (I know Larry recused himself from further Dragon Award noms, but John Ringo’s still game for it)

Best YA novel: Would have voted for: Games Wizards Play – Diane Duane (released too early to qualify; first half of 2016)

Best Horror Novel : Etched in Bone – Anne Bishop

Best Graphic Novel: Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files: Wild Card

Best Movie: Dr. Strange

Best video game: Would have voted for: Nier: Automata (released too early to qualify; first half of 2016)

Best Mobile Game: Would have nominated : Shadowverse by Cygames or Sword Art Online: Memory Defrag

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Canaries in the Coal Mines

I popped over to Larry Correia’s site today; having had a little time for a change, and ran into this blogpost, which talked about how a conservative science fiction writer has found his career effectively threatened for advancing a concept in a book.

http://monsterhunternation.com/2016/02/10/left-wing-bias-in-publishing-your-wrongthink-will-be-punished/

The blogpost by the author himself, Nick Cole, is found here.

I won’t write about the freedom of speech issues and the effective censoring being done, nor the reasons that Harper Collins’ has shut down a writer under contract here, as Larry and Nick have done excellent jobs of that; Larry in his inimitable way as usual. No, I’m going to write about something that Nick said in his post, that resulted in a realization.

I am a writer.
A writer is often the last defense in a society collapsing into a one-mind totalitarian state where the rights of people are trodden upon by the ruling elite in the name of the “greater good.” Where freedom of speech and independent thinking are also curtailed in the name of the “greater good.” Where writers and other artists disappear either by blacklisting or “disappearing” because they say, or write, something that the intellectual elite hates. I am a writer. It is my job to stand up and say what cannot be said. It is my job to play with unpopular ideas. I would not deny anyone from doing so, and I expect not to be denied. I expect the same courtesy others are being extended. I expect not to be discriminated against merely because I am different. Better people than myself have written the truth at the cost of their lives. Many dead writers have paid for the freedom of others with the truth, and their lives. Writers are often the last flame of freedom on the flickering candle of civilization in the darkness of a world going mad.

There is often a vocal defense that Science Fiction editors do not have a liberal bias. Well, here’s your proof. They do. So you may not agree with me on the idea I advanced. But what happens the next time when some potentate decides they don’t like your idea? There is no place in publishing for this kind of Censorship. This is an issue, regardless of the idea, that affects all of us and our freedom.

It is quite de rigeur these days to encounter the disease called Social Justice bullies and CHORFs everywhere one turns. The majority of people seem to think that they’re a fad that will go away, the latest version of ‘teenage rebellion’ – if it weren’t for the fact that the folks engaging in such shrill, rabid denunciations range from their teens to their late sixties.

Simply put, for those of us who actually recognize them for what they are, they are people who would have been the Useful Idiots of the Cold War era (which, I submit, never really ended – the battlefield simply shifted.)

The people who advance that a totalitarian regime, that the suppression of freedom of speech, human rights, etc are the pampered children who have never lived under such a regime. This is especially true of modern day Europeans, and especially true of Americans, Canadians, New Zealanders and Australians.

Take note, this is not a sneer at the abovementioned nations’ people – you are all incredibly lucky to not remember what it was like. Americans especially have had a freedom that is, in my opinion, very unlike the experience of any other group of people on this planet. On one hand, for hundreds of years, you have refused to bow down and stayed guarded against overt attempts at conquest. On the other, it makes for a great emotional and intellectual cultural vulnerability – because such oppression has never been experienced, to some extent that same precious freedom and opportunity is taken for granted. Too easily do people think “surely, that can never happen here / they couldn’t possibly be that stupid/gullible etc.”

I’ve lived on the other side of the Berlin Wall, and one of the more common frustrations that the people whose homes we were invited to voiced discreetly to my parents (in the safety of their sprawling gardens, away from potential bugs in their homes) was that they were unhappy with how their government treated them like children, incapable of making up their own minds. They missed their relatives from whom they were separated by the Wall, and simply wanted to meet with them again, visit them on occasion. “After all,” our hosts would tell our parents, “we are so much better off than they are in the Capitalist world. Why wouldn’t we want to return?”

Looking back on the differences, with an adult’s eyes, I understand now that the Socialist government could not have maintained the illusion that they’d hoodwinked their people with if those people had been free to travel to the West, instead of only select groups being allowed to pay short visits. As it was, such was the shock to the psyche of a number of people after the Wall fell, that they wished it had never happened, that they could return to the comfortable illusions they had, comfortable, old and worn, like familiar habits and old woolen sweaters.

A great number of the most vicious and fanatic social justice attack hounds come from the countries that have not experienced being under a totalitarian ruler. The immature belief that ‘if we did it, then we’d do it better, in a non-evil way’ of good-intentions backed magic thinking echoes one of the favorite sins to damn a person to hell employed by the Devil in old folk tales: Pride. Pride that ‘we know better’ and the certainty that ‘it’s not evil when we do it,’ or, the ever so insidious ‘for the greater good’ without ever checking if it actually results in good things. I’ve even seen the illogical concept that ‘good intentions are enough reason for us to employ horrible methods.’ That’s just a more complicated way of saying “The ends justify the means.”

The useful idiots and the quislings are useful exactly because they secure in the belief that when this dreadful, nightmarish regime that they work for comes, they are spared, or rewarded, or benefit in some way.

They don’t remember that they could just as easily be rewarded as a traitor deserves.

I sometimes wish my father were still alive, so I could ask him for stories about what it was like to be a journalist under the Marcos regime. (On the other hand, I am glad he is not around to see that a Marcos is one of two possibly only GOOD candidates running for the Philippine Presidency! And on the third hand, I wonder what other good Dad might have accomplished. Apparently they’re still talking about the good things he did while he was the Philippine Ambassador to Israel; that my youngest brother was asked how he was related to ‘the Honorable Ambassador Antonio Modena.’ cackle! His turn now!)

My mom remembers some of the things my father was willing to share with her. Or there’d be a wife of one of his colleagues trying to find her husband. If they were lucky, they got the man in question back alive; or had something to bury.

I sometimes wonder, “Are they so desperate to experience this, that they import something that would do exactly this to everyone, if they got the chance?” Then, I shake my head and remember the SJWs think that they’ll be the ones in control, in power, instead of the ones who’ll first be up against the wall. By what means do they think they’ll cling to control? It is only through the trappings of civilization that they’re able to get away with what they do, but if they erode enough of it away, those fetters they rely on will be too weak to hold back the horrors they’ll experience.

Oh, and I got a copy of Alt Ctrl Revolt too. I wanted to know what happened beyond the ‘offensive’ concept – which really, was not offensive, and the logic-process tree is completely sound. I think Nick Cole succeeded in giving a reason that a reader who isn’t a mental eunuch can understand – and similarly, those readers can go from there and want to find out ‘what happened next?’

That’s good writing.

Surprising responses

Note for people using wordpress: please remember to select ‘Log In with WordPress’ before using your WordPress login, if you wish to comment, thank you!

My essay, Nazi is not a term you throw around lightly got Instalanched, re-linked, and mentioned in lots of other places – a response I honestly did not expect. Larry Correia linked it, Sarah Hoyt linked it, Peter Grant linked it, Cedar Sanderson did as well… it’s been retweeted a lot as well.

I’ve read comments from other places, including at Instapundit and getting responses directly to email.

I honestly only expected to be mocked by the Anti Sad Puppies (ASPs), and some supporting comments from my friends and fellow Mad Geniuses. Larry’s busy writing (yessss) and Brad is in the Middle East now, if not in Iraq (stay safe, my friend!)

I’ve just run across your post here:

Nazi is not a term you throw around lightly

I’m having a particularly rough day after being accused of associating with a hate group by a potential customer.

Our sin? We advertise with focus on the family.

Your post bolstered me up. Thank you and God bless.

h.

That letter made me ridiculously happy. To cheer someone who was depressed by being falsely accused of hate, because of conducting their business in a way that meshes with their values and their faith, I am glad for. As a mother of two wonderful children, and two angels in Heaven, I know the importance of family, the value of family. To work with support and focus on the family is an expression of love, not hate. Families cannot be built or kept if there is no love.

Hello, Mrs. Modena.

Good post on your father and on Tor. I’m glad you combined them–mainly just because the story of your father is very interesting in itself, rather than because it’s needed for the Tor part. He’d be proud to be remembered that way.
I write now so I can become a small part of your post. Change “by the dictatorship and it’s cronies” to “by the dictatorship and its cronies”.

IHS

I grinned, leaned over and told Rhys that he’s Mr Modena now.

I write with my maiden name for security reasons. The first has to do with Rhys’ job as a fitter armorer for the ADF; the second has to do with the fact that I have a longtime stalker online who has been known to instigate others into doing his dirty work for him, so that if something happens to someone he is targeting, he isn’t ‘directly responsible’, and it would be difficult to prove.

I’ve been told that it would be a good thing to collect the stories of my experiences into a book, so that my family’s glimpse into history will not be lost. As it is, with my father already gone, a good chunk of that is lost! Fortunately, my mother now has working Skype and I will use it extensively, as long distance phone calls are very expensive. Thank goodness for technology!

I should also grill her for anecdotes of her childhood and youth, and the ones she remembers of my father. They were both fascinating characters, and their lives show a glimpse into a way of living that frankly would be quite alien to most of us now.

Speaking of stories, I saw this wonderful comment at Peter’s blog:

Shadowdancer Duskstar,

I not only found your essay on your father moving, but I found that it inspired me to write a short story. I have the outline down but I wanted to ask your permission to do so, since it’s obviously a very personal thing for you and I wouldn’t want to offend you.

I already gave permission that he continue with the story, and told my Mom about it. Then we joked that if Dad had been around he’d be all fluffed with pride and that we’d need to puncture his ego again.

I responded with this comment:

*grin!* You have no idea how pleased I am to hear that my little essay moved you to write. You’ve become the first to fulfil one of my dreams as a writer: to inspire others to write as well. Thank you so much.

I don’t aspire to award-winning writing, of the pseudo-intellectual elite. I want to write stories that people enjoy, and hopefully become comfort reads, the way I read and reread David Eddings’, Jim Butcher’s, Larry Correia’s, Anne Bishop’s, Tom Clancy’s, Matthew Reilly’s books to pieces and require new copies. I want my stories to be the sort where the prose doesn’t get in the way and instead, you’re ‘in’ the adventure with the character, in a mental cinematic experience of your own. I want the reader to start reading, and be surprised that they reach the end of the book, run out of pages, surface some hours later and blink at the clock, wondering where time went. I want them to think ‘and then what happened?’ and keep turning the pages.

At the top of my goals in writing, is to inspire others to write.

To have achieved that with my essay is the most surprising and most uplifting thing of all.

The nicest part is, it’s going to be a Sci-Fi story! I’m looking forward to this!

My mother’s response to all the reactions I’ve been getting was to be proud, congratulate me, then promptly go, “So, the next thing you write will have to top that.”

That’s the same thing she always told my Dad.

Over at Sarah’s I gave a little more background to how I found out about the erasure of World War II.

I didn’t include it in the essay, because it felt clunky, but the reason why I found out about World War II not being in the books was because of well, my being known in the whole school. I was literally the only ‘colored person’ there. EVERYONE knew my name.

The fourth graders were doing one of those class project presentation displays in the main school hall; and I was still new enough that while I could communicate in German, and read in German, some words eluded me, so I was often in the company of a teacher who spoke English. One day, a bunch of boys ran past, pointing at me and yelled “It’s the Panzerkreuzer Aurora!!!”

I was puzzled, so after scolding them and sending them off, the teacher decided to show me the class exhibits, saying I was too young for this part of education to be included in my lessons, and started talking about the Great War at the start of the century.

“Oh, World War I,” I said. “I’ve only started reading about World War II.”

“Excuse me?”

“World War I. The one that came before World War II.”

The teacher looked at me kindly. “Ah, I forget that the Philippines has been tainted by American lies. There was only ever the Great War, and they lost, so they have to make up that there was a Second World War where they won against an imaginary evil person.”

“Hitler?”

“That one. No German could ever be that evil. Don’t worry, you’ll learn the truth when you’re old enough.”

I, being 7 years old, said: “But I saw pictures.”

“Americans are clever at faking things. Its’ time for your class now.”

And I remember it that well only because I made a particular effort to remember it so I could ask my Dad about it. It REALLY stuck in my head.

The following comments are also worth a read. “Chilling,” Sarah said, and she should know as she lived in a very Socialist Portugal before coming over to the US.

For those looking to find out more about the Sad Puppies/Hugo/Tor controversy, I refer you to these links, randomly copied from open tabs.

http://bayourenaissanceman.blogspot.com.au/2015/06/well-well-well.html

This, That, The Other, Now With More Robots

The latest Sad Puppies related stuff

http://bayourenaissanceman.blogspot.ca/2015/06/anger-doubt-and-confusion-at-tor.html

http://bayourenaissanceman.blogspot.ca/2015/06/most-interesting.html

http://tlknighton.com/?p=7197

http://tlknighton.com/?p=7190

Sad Puppies Summary and Wrapup

Rant: You Can’t Shame a Puppy

Odd Lots

http://voxday.blogspot.com.au/2015/06/tor-books-stands-by-gallo.html

Sheepdog staring at the horizon

www.scifiwright.com/2015/06/irene-gallo/

For now, I’m off. Dinner calls, and I have a nice beef and Portobello mushroom rice porridge waiting for me.

A friend in an anthology

A friend of mine, Chris Chupik, recently had a work published in an anthology. He announced it over his Twitter, so I’m cheering him on here too! Hopefully I can get it sometime soon, since I rather enjoy anthologies.

Enigma Front Anthology

 

Way to go, Chris!

 

The full cover can be seen here.

Worth My Wallet

Rhys is the person who introduced me to Kickstarter, by showing me things that he backs. He’s backed several projects I’m aware of, including some movies and comics, some games (both video game and otherwise) as well as art books.

So when Larry Correia linked a Kickstarter for an anthology he’s participating in, I clicked the link.

It’s the list of authors that made me sign up for a Kickstarter account, and set aside money to add to it. There are several familiar names, which my brain associates with ‘Ooh, yay!’

Pretty much, there goes my book budget for the month (that screenshot includes shipping), and every time I look, my brain goes “Worth it!” So I hope that it gets funded in full. I went for a hardcover simply because they’re more durable and resist my rereading tendencies.

That list of names is sure to encourage lots of rereading. Those are some fine masters and mistresses of their craft there.


Rhys got me this charm, which I currently wear on a necklace as a pendant, during the weekend at Prouds (they were having a sale!) It reminds me of Brandon. I think I’d like to wear it on a bracelet eventually though; so I can add charms that remind me of my family. I got something there for Rune’s birthday; though her birthday isn’t for some months yet.

Brandon’s loss is really hitting me hard of late, and I recognize the stage of grief I’m entering, as well as why. He would be five months old soon, and instead, it’s almost two months since he died.

I miss everything. The feel of him in my arms, the softness of his cheeks, that euphoria-inducing soft sweet milk smell babies have, that intense, piercing gaze, that fierce personality of his, all the way to the squeaky noise he made when he was swallowing milk while he nursed: niyoop, niyoop, niyoop.

Brandon would have started to smile around now – as in, be able to pull it out at will. He would smile at random, usually while asleep, but he gave a happy gummy grin and baby wriggle once, when he heard Aff’s father’s voice, while Aff was showing him off. Since I was carrying him, I only saw it from the side, not in full. We didn’t get a picture, alas, because it was a skype call via Aff’s phone.

I hope I get Brandon’s pillow back from the coroner. When Rhys isn’t so swamped at work, I’ll see if we can drop by the hospital sometime, because they said they’d take footprints and such before Brandon went to the coroner. Every memento now is important, because it’s all we have left.

In recent conversations I’ve had (with Rhys and my mother), we talked about the boys’ different personalities, which were evident even while they were in the womb. Vincent is the happy charmer, Damien the quiet observant one who’d rather be left alone, Brandon the temperamental meticulous grump. They were all very cute boys though, despite the different temperaments, and cuddle-bugs.

Speaking of cuddly cute things, I guess the need to cuddle and care for something has been overwhelming me of late. I want a pet bird; a cockatiel or budgie, one of the hand-raised ones that sit on your finger or shoulder. I miss having a cuddly little bantam, honestly, but I have to hold off on it for now.

I got Rhys to take me to a pet shop to soothe that urge a little by looking at budgies. They didn’t have any hand raised ones that time.

Then, one afternoon, after he got home from work, Rhys showed me a picture he took while he was at work.

It looks like a budgie, but more colourful than any budgie I’ve ever seen! I want one!

I also want a book of Australian birds, so I can look these up!


Art by Era/Travelling Bird/Fishball

Regarding birds, I ran across this wonderful pool over at Danbooru (while looking up ‘scenery porn – the main reason I ever go to that site is the gorgeous, gorgeous landscapes – unwary beware though, there’s lots of porn as well, so if that’s not your thing, don’t wander away from the link!)

I Am A Pet Bird

It’s an illustrated story of a girl and her pet bird done by a Taiwanese artist who goes by those handles listed above. While the text is in Japanese, you can hover your cursor over the text and a translation pops up. Click ‘next’ for the next page in the story. It’s a sweet story, but also heartbreakingly sad – brace yourself for feeeeeeeels!


I’ve started playing Lineage II again; because Aff felt it would be a good idea for me to chat to folks; and it seems like we’ve been missed. So we logged in for a siege yesterday, and it was lots of fun. Later on, Aff told me about how Wulfric teased him later, saying, “What did you do, put up the bat-signal or something? There must have been twenty or thirty people who came back to game just because you did!”

They’ve made a certain area spawn really powerful mobs (level 100+) so we tried it out. There’s a specific guardian-type monster there that has a skill that oneshots most of the party.

I’d logged into Minecraft this morning so I could chat with Pixie-chan while I had breakfast. She asked me if I was going to log in, and I said I wasn’t sure because I had work to do. She said “Log in.” So I did and we played for several hours and before I knew it the kids were home, and Rhys was home and we needed to go out for grocery shopping.

I did the work I had to do while we were playing, so I wasn’t completely slack.

I restocked on jelly beans, because I ran out. I’m rather sad that Coles took out their home-brand gummi bears, because outside of the Haribo ones, they’re the best I’ve had. I hope they bring them back someday!

Because it is worth relinking and rereading.

thatswhatseparatecountriesarefor

 

Jim Butcher has this to say about the Charlie Hebdo atrocity

Freedom v Fear

It needs requoting, but you should also read the original post on his LJ.

“Still mortified about our fallen cartoonist colleagues, but free speech will always win.”

No.

No it won’t.

The history of the human race demonstrates /very/ convincingly that free speech is the /exception/ to the human condition, not the rule. For millennia, those who spoke out were imprisoned or killed. Hell, you could say something that wasn’t even subversive, just inept and stupid, and be destroyed for committing the crime of lese majeste.

Make no mistake. What we have today is a level of freedom and self-determination on a scale unparalleled in the history of our species. We live in what is, in many ways, a golden age. So much so that we give tremendous credit to the adage, “The pen is mightier than the sword.”

But everyone always forgets the first half of that quote:

“Under the rule of men entirely great, the pen is mightier than the sword.”

I’m not sure I know of anyplace that’s ruled by anyone “entirely great.” That adage wasn’t a statement of philosophy, as it was originally used: it was a statement of irony.

Don’t believe me? Look around. Notice that everywhere you go in the world, whoever happens to be ruling seems to have a great many swords.

Still, the idea contained within the quote is a powerful one–that intangible ideas, thoughts, and beliefs can have tremendous power. And that’s why we should be paying close attention.

After all, intangible fear can be mightier than the sword, too. Hell, it has been for quite a while now. Don’t believe me? Try getting on an airplane without taking your shoes off in the security line. While you’re doing that, try cracking a joke about having a knife.

That’s the power of fear, guys.

We. Are. In. Danger.

The threat isn’t aimed at our government or our borders or our resources. It’s targeting something far more precious–our identity. It’s changing us, who we are, how we live, and not for the better.

The Western world has got the biggest and sharpest sword the planet has ever known, yes. But the extremists are armed with a weapon just as powerful: Fear. And these nuts are really good at using it.

There is /one/ way that freedom, freedom to speak, to choose, to grow, to believe, to improve, survives in the face of violent attack.

Free men and women defend it, violently if necessary–or it dies.

It’s that simple. It really is.

If we forget that, if we forget that there are predators in the world who very much want to destroy those freedoms in the name of their god, their philosophy, their politics, if we forget that our freedoms /can/ and /will/ be taken away if we sit staring and do nothing, they are as good as gone.

Freedom doesn’t defend itself.

We have to do it.

That said…

Good question.

That’s a huge contrast to Scalzi apologizing to Muslims for what happened over in France. Hat tip to Vox Day on that one, since I don’t keep track of Scalzi.

Respect for Butcher, Correia, Hoyt, and so many others +++++++ infinity. This is a freedom of speech issue. This is a Western Civilization issue. It needs defending, or we lose everything.

Enjoyable reads must be accompanied by good eats

some of the best things in life...!

That’s today’s lunch. And Rhys got me that book, because it was less than A$20 in Kmart, which we were lucky to get. They didn’t have any more left on the shelves and luckily there was some in the back. Interestingly enough, Reilly’s book was the ONLY one who was ‘out of stock’ from what we could tell.

I am eagerly awaiting the release of the next Jack Ryan Jr. book.

(reposting this comment I made over here)

Matthew Reilly is my favorite recommend for thrillers / technothrillers. He cheerfully admits that he’s not out to write deep, meaningful stories, but fun, action-packed ones. Reading his books is like reading something that I’d expect to happen if Michael Bay and John Woo put their heads together and decided to write a book instead of make a movie.

He has a number of stand-alone books as well as a couple of series. His attempt at a historical mystery, The Tournament had me intrigued because it revolved around the game of chess of all things.

He has a fondness for unlikely heroes. His first book, Contest has a single dad with his kid as the hero. The latest book, The Great Zoo of China has a traumatized herpetologist. Reilly also isn’t one I’d accuse of making weak female characters – and he uses all sorts of definitions for ‘strength’ to help build his characters to be more than ‘tick box feminism.’

Oh and he has fun with playing with cryptozoology. He’s very clearly inspired by Indiana Jones, and has no problems whatsoever with being so.

The other one I’d recommend, but he’s really hard to get outside of – and inside of – Australia is Greig Beck. Much like Reilly in thriller style, but with more horror-feel than Reilly’s ‘lots and lots of things explode and get destroyed.’

I also find myself enjoying Mark Greaney’s continuation of the Jack Ryan novels. He isn’t afraid of dropping the characters into ‘oh shit’ situations and occasionally, and realistically, ‘I hate my life that was retarded’ moments – it’s quite clear that he DID write with Clancy, not ghost-wrote for him. The styles are quite distinct, and I think they worked well together.

In fact, I enjoyed pretty much everything in the Jack Ryan Jr. set of stories, but I guess for some that would be a Mileage May Vary sort of thing. But Greaney’s style is fun and fast and I wouldn’t mind trying out his own books outside of the Ryanverse as a result.